Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
1 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Student cadets march on the parade field at the Napuka Secondary School for graduation in Napuka Village, Fiji, Aug. 7, 2019. U.S. and Fijian Soldiers attended the event and did a tactics display for the event to showcase the jungle training done dur... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
2 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fijian Staff Sgt. Leone Uluitoga, a cunductor serving in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, leads the RFMF Band during a cadet graduation at the Napuka Secondary School, in Napuka Village, Fiji, Aug. 7, 2019. U.S. and Fijian Soldiers attended the ... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
3 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A cadet platoon leader salutes and commands a group of student cadets as they march on the parade field at the Napuka Secondary School for graduation in Napuka Village, Fiji, Aug. 7, 2019. U.S. and Fijian Soldiers attended the event and did a tactics... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
4 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A student cadet salutes with award in hand that he received from Fijian Col. Litea Seruiratu, who serves as director of human resources for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, during a cadet graduation at the Napuka Secondary School in Napuka Villa... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
5 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. David Knack (right), feeds blank ammunition into a 240B machine gun that Spc. Zachary Parady fires during a military tactics demonstration at a Fijian cadet graduation in Napuka Village, Fiji, Aug. 7, 2019. Both Soldiers serve with the 1st Batta... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
6 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Spc. Christian Latham (left), who serves with 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Inf. Brig. Combat Team, shoots a squad automatic weapon as an opposition force with his Fijian partner Fijian Sgt. Iowane Seru, who serves with 3rd... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
7 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lance Corporal Nabala Rua, who serves with 3rd Battalion, Fiji Infantry Regiment, rushes during a flanking maneuver demonstration at a cadet graduation in Napuka Village, Aug. 7, 2019. The 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Inf. Brig... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
8 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fijian Corporal Tora, who serves with the 3rd Battalion, Fiji Infantry Regiment, kneels in position while U.S. Soldiers serving the 1st Btn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd Brigade, Inf. Brig. Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, move in a wedge formation behind h... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Culmination of Pacific Pathways training displayed at cadet graduation at Napuka Secondary School
9 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Spc. Lorenzo Ponce, who serves with the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Inf. Brig. Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, ensures that his Fijian Army partner, serving with 3rd Btn., Fiji Inf. Regt., Private Akapusi Ledua's sq... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

On the southern peninsula of the island of Vanua Levu, Fiji, U.S. and Fijian soldiers performed a military tactics display during a cadet graduation at the Napuka Secondary School, Aug. 7, 2019.

The display showcased a culmination of training both armies have engaged in over a two-week period during Pacific Pathways' Exercise Cartwheel 2019. Three platoons from 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Inf. Brig. Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, have teamed with three Fijian sister platoons serving with 3rd Btn., Fiji Inf. Regt.

The military relationship between the U.S. and Fiji is strong and based on mutual respect and cooperation. Cartwheel looks to further establish that relationship and deepen ties.

"We're very grateful for all of what the Pacific Pathways mission has brought here to Fiji," said Fijian Col. Litea Vulakoro Seruiratu, who serves as director of human resources, for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. "A lot of benefits come with Exercise Cartwheel; it encourages increased security and cooperation with a lot of our neighboring countries in the Pacific, and that's really important for us."

Seruiratu continued that the demonstration serves in many ways. It generates interest for the youth coming up in the surrounding villages to fill the ranks of the RFMF, and it offers an opportunity for the U.S. Soldiers to interact with the remote communities around Napuka Village.

"There has been a lot of people leaving the (Fijian) military," Seruiratu said. "So the U.S. Army Pacific coming in here and enhancing the skills of our Soldiers, and to have them display them at the Napuka graduation is a blessing. It generates a lot of interest, so when the U.S. leaves, people from around our second biggest island will come in with interest, and we'll be able to start enlisting new Soldiers."

Although the display wasn't comprehensive to what Exercise Cartwheel continues to offer, it was a good taste of the jungle tactics.

The exercise is ongoing and the infantry portion consists of three major areas that include a jungle squad and platoon situational training exercise, general rifle marksmanship, and military operations in urban terrain, which includes clearing rooms and buildings, explained Sgt. Major Timmothy Henry, who serves as operations sergeant major for 1/27 Infantry.

Cartwheel is focused on exchanging best practices in tough environments with difficult training. It establishes a foundation to develop strong relationships with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, for future Pathways missions.

"The RFMF, and the U.S. Army are in these austere jungle conditions to build cohesiveness through a shared experience of hardship and difficulty," said 2nd Lt. Michael Fink, a platoon leader with 1/27 Infantry. "It forges a strong bond in our ranks, which allows us to maintain a positive relationship, which is key in providing stability throughout the entire Pacific theater."

The U.S. and Fiji are no strangers to working with each other on a military level, and there is an intent to build upon the foundations, which Cartwheel is establishing.

"As these Pacific Pathways exercises become formalized, we'll be able to do a lot more things, and I feel like it's going to get big, and will not only involve Fiji, but a lot of our neighboring countries in the Pacific," Seruiratu said. "It will come with increased security and cooperation from within, and that's really important for us."

Related Links:

Exercise Cartwheel

U.S. Army Pacific Facebook